OrderPaperToday – Ebonyi National Assembly caucus has faulted the decision of the state governor, David Umahi, to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
The caucus described the move as unwise and indecent, saying the governor is an ingrate.
Recall that Umahi announced his decision to leave PDP barely 24 hours ago.
Umahi based his decision on “injustice” meted out to the South-east geopolitical zone by the PDP. He also said he has no regret in joining the APC and denied speculations of being motivated by the purported zoning of the presidential ticket of the party to the region.
The move has drawn criticisms already as the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike thinks otherwise. He noted that Umahi’s defection is to fulfil his ambition to be the APC’s presidential candidate in 2023.
Reacting to the development, Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi) who spoke on their behalf of the Ebonyi NASS caucus in a press briefing on Wednesday, described the governor’s reasons for leaving PDP as as “indecent” and “unwise”.
He said: “For the sake of clarity we wish to state that not a single member of the Ebonyi PDP caucus of the National Assembly is defecting to the APC.
“The three Senators and five house of Representatives members remain proud card carrying members of the PDP, the platform under which we contest and won elections in 2019.
“The major reason given by Chief Umahi for defecting from the PDP to the APC is now in the public domain which has the PDP has not been fair to the people of South East on the issue of zoning for the presidency and vice presidency.
“While we support that it is the turn of the South East to fly the presidential flag of any of the major political parties come 2023, yet we consider it impolitique, indecent and unwise to give ultimatum and conditionality in a bid to secure zoning.”
According to the caucus, Umahi ought to remain grateful to the PDP who first appointed him the Ebonyi state chairman of the PDP, made him deputy Governor of the PDP administration and was elected on two terms under the banner of the PDP as Governor.
The group noted that the governor’s younger brothers were elected to principal offices of the PDP.
“One Mr. Austin Umahi at the South East zonal chairman of the PDP and another Mr. Maxwell Umahi as the Deputy state chairman of PDP”, he said.
Egwu, who chairs the senate committee on housing, said they agree with Umahi’s rights to join any association of his choice but they are not unaware of the Supreme Court’s decision that candidates are a product of the political parties.
“What it means is that political office holders are not at liberty to migrate from one political platform to another particularly when there is no division in their party”, he added.
The legislators from Ebonyi state also backed the PDP for “their prompt action in dissolving the ward, local government, state and zonal structure s of the party in Ebonyi state and the announcement of the state caretaker team.”
Members of the Ebonyi NASS caucus in attendance were: Senator Sam Ominyi Egwu, Senator Obinna Ogba, Senator Mike Ama Nnachi, Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga, Hon. Igariwey Iduma Enwo, Hon. Chukwuma Nwazunku, Hon. Edwin Anayo and Hon. Livinus Makwe.
The Minority leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia) was also present at the briefing.